“Vetri Vel Muruganike...Arohara...
When I'm down and alone, I come to you Lord Muruga...Vetri Vel, Vetri Vel Muruga...”
IT is that favourite time of the year again where the long awaited Thai Poosam Kavady has arrived.
Thai Poosam Kavady is one of the most famously celebrated South Indian festivals around the world.
Its origin stems from Tamil Nadu in South India.
Over the decades Hindus all over the world celebrated Kavady as part of their devotion to Lord Murugap Peruman.
Thai Poosam Kavady is celebrated during the sighting of the Pournami in the auspicious month of Thai which is in middle of January/middle of February.
Many legends follow the success stories of Kavady and its grand significance.
Here is one such epic story:
Subramaniar or Karthika is the son of Lord Siva Peruman and Mother Parvathi.
Other common names for Lord Subramaniar include Muruga, Kumara, Skandha, Shanmuga and Kugha.
Created out of the Six Sparks of the Third eye of Lord Siva, for the special purpose of destroying the demon Surapadhman, Lord Muruga was blessed with six faces riding his peacock, thus known to all as Arumuga. Tharakasuran was an Asura that was disturbing the peace of all the saints and sages.
Having heard this cry for help, Lord Siva Peruman and Mother Parvathi summoned their son Lord Muruga.
His task was to destroy Tharakasuran. Having accepted his challenge Lord Muruga set off with 12 weapons.
Eleven of those weapons were given to him by his father Nama Sivaya and the all important Vel was given by his Mother Parvathi.
Legend says that Iduman was asked to bring to Tharakasuran the two hills representing Sivan and Sakthi.
This was done in the form of a Kavady, where the two ends of the bamboo structure held the two hills.
Iduman decided to take a rest and rested his Kavady.
Upon resuming his task of carrying these two hills, he realised that it was impossible to carry. It was too heavy for Iduman.
His path was further obstructed by a stubborn young boy who was in fact Lord Muruga.
Iduman asked Lord Muruga to move out of his way, but became furious because he refused to obey his instruction.
A fight broke out between the two and Lord Muruga killed Iduman instantly with his Vel. Iduman regained his life after the good Lord pardoned him.
It then became apparent to Iduman that the stubborn young boy was none other than Lord Muruga.
Iduman was then instructed by Lord Muruga to be his guard.
What is a Kavady?
Kava Thudi “Kavady”, is a Tamil word meaning a flattened pole with two loads at the end.
Most commonly carried Kavadies is a flattened pole with a semi-circular arch over it.
Attached to the arch are two brass vessels “soombus” filled with milk or honey.
Peacock feathers, flowers and a Vel are also attached as part of the decorations.
A brass vessel filled with milk “paal Koodam” can also be carried as an offering to Lord Murugap Peruman.
Some devotees pierce their bodies as thanks to the Great Lord for fulfilling a vow.
A question often asked : "Can I fast for Kavady without carrying Kavady?" Simply answered “yes”.
A devotee can observe a strict vegetarian fast for the period of 10 days and still get the divine blessings of Lord Muruga.
Devotees, must be mindful that their love and devotion for Lord Muruga is what is important.
Why is the flag raised and why a 10 day fast?
The flag is raised on the first day and is indicative of the beginning of the ten day fast and the observance of the Thai Poosam Kavady.
The Sevel “Rooster” is a symbol that is sited on the flag.
This symbolised the approach or the dawn of knowledge.
It is the Sevel that proclaims the coming of the sun in the East.
The sun is the heavenly body that dispels all darkness.
It also dispels all ignorance and ego.
Lord Murugas Vel is strong, straight and pointed, representing our spinal cord running through the spinal column, to the top part of our brain, which is the highest point of knowledge.
The Vel is the spear of wisdom, penetrating the intellect, seeking ultimate reality.
The Mayil 'Peacock'
The peacock represents the Vahana (vehicle) symbolising his conquest over evil, vanity and pride.
By Lord Murugap Peruman sitting on the peacock, it symbolises the control he has over our pride and ego.
Valli and Dheivany are the consorts of Lord Muruga.
Valli is Icchashakthi the power of will and Dheivany Kryashakthi power of action.
Om Saravanbhavya namaha
The trustees and management of the Shree Siva Subramaniar Alayam of Umdloti Drift Verulam, have pleasure in extending a warm and cordial welcome to the 116th Thai Poosam Kavady Festival.
The Flag hoisting ceremony will begin on the 15 January 2016 and will conclude with a 10 day prayer and observance on the 24 January 2016.
Daily hawan and prayer services will be held at the alayam at 6 Temple Road, Umdloti Drift, Verulam.
Supper will be served daily.
For more information contact the resident priest Guru Ramalingam Veeramuthu on 0325333696.